Department of Home Affairs says system has been offline for eight days.
SOME services are not available at the Department of Home Affairs’ satellite office in Galeshewe because of cable theft.
Residents complained that they were unable to access a variety of services as the online system has apparently been out of order for the last two weeks.
“Matric pupils need to apply for identity documents (IDs) when they register for tertiary studies. We have not been able to collect IDs and there is no option to collect it from the office in the city centre. Vulnerable beneficiaries will not be able to claim their grants if they have lost their IDs,” said the concerned residents.
Department of Home Affairs regional manager Ricardo Abrams said on Wednesday that the system would be restored once Telkom had repaired the cables.
“The system has been affected for the past eight days,” Abrams confirmed.
He said that certain identity documents could not be collected as they first had to be biometrically verified.
“Certain passports can be manually handed out for collection. However, under Level 3 lockdown restrictions, no applications are being accepted for reissue. This means that persons who have lost their IDs will not be able to apply for a new document at this stage. These measures were taken to prevent Covid-19 super-spreader events where there are large volumes of people waiting in long queues.”
Abrams indicated that only first-time ID applications for pupils and matrics were currently being processed.
Abrams said that the department had an office on the third floor of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital for the registration of birth and death certificates.
“However, the Covid-19 regulations at the hospital may impede access to these services,” he added.
He said that in the event of an emergency the full range of services could be accessed at the department’s office in the CBD or its office in Barkly West, until the Galeshewe office was back online.